Help Desk Vs Service Desk, what is the difference?

Help Desk Vs Service Desk, what is the difference?

Help Desk vs Service Desk, What is the difference? This is one question we are asked time and again.

Both these terms are used interchangeably depending on the nature and size of the organization. Sure, there is a certain amount of overlap, but the truth is that they are way different in nature and scope.
The demands of customers are forever increasing and enterprises are doing their best to meet them in the best possible manner. Not surprising then, there is a heavy reliance on both help desk and service desk software platforms.

It’s time we understood what they mean and its application in enterprises.

What is Help Desk?

Help desk is tactical solution that aims to resolve the day-to-day needs of users. Be it technical issues or business concerns, help desk functions either independently or as part of the service desk to improve the overall customer service of the organization. The focus of a help desk is more on fixing problems and troubleshooting.

What is Service Desk?

Service desk solutions on the other hand always looks at the bigger picture and play a pivotal role in managing the entire customer service process. Service Desk aim to handle service requests which may extend from hours to days. For example, acquiring IT Assets, Onboarding Employees, etc.

The objective is not troubleshooting or responding immediately to the problem at hand.

Help Desk vs Service Desk, The Role

Help desk is expected to act as a single point of contact (SPOC) for IT support, look into problem resolution and escalation procedures, provide the necessary level 1 & level 2 support, manage knowledge base, and adhere to Service Level Agreements or SLAs.

Enterprises are hugely dependent on the help desk to provide actionable, sound solutions. The incident management capabilities of the help desk make it a must-have for organizations worldwide.

The service desk is much broader in scope and is both strategic and cross organizational. While understanding the business requirements, the service desk looks at it from a broader perspective.

 It is the Single Point of Contact between the Service Provider and Users and looks into incidents, service requests as well as communication.
Its goal is to improve the overall business while optimizing opportunities for all the processes including the help desk to make the organization more efficient and successful. 

The service desk also ensures compliance with Service Level Agreements and complete integration with other IT Service Management processes.
It would be fair to say Help Desk is a subset of Service Desk in most large organizations.

Are they both necessary for survival?

Well, that depends on individual organization and their needs.
Some companies do not see the need of having a full-fledged service desk and might be content with a help desk that takes care of the tactical requirements.

The size of the organization, the complexities of the processes, and the vertical you belong to may influence this decision to a large extent. The ultimate goal should be to resolve end user problems and issues.

In our experience most enterprises would need both of them once they cross a certain size in terms of number of users as well as services offered.

Summing up

Irrespective of the strategic and tactical differences, both help desk and service desk share a common goal – working towards the betterment of the organization.

 The results achieved are miraculous when both work in tandem. Together, they empower organizations with actionable intelligence and better decision-support capabilities thereby making them the trusted partner for associates as well as customers.

Are you leveraging Help Desk and Service Desk Software to manage your IT Operations?

Talk to our Solution Engineer to get a better view on which would fit your needs.

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